Recycle electronics and help save endangered gorillas

CLEVELAND – There’s an opportunity in Cleveland for you to safely dispose of your old cell phones, without worrying about data compromise and helping an endangered species.

“The big draw right now is our group of gorillas and our new baby gorilla, Kayembe,” said Dr. Chris Kuhar, executive director of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

The first baby gorilla born at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is now 6 months old. He’s adorable, busy, and you can’t take your eyes off him.

Watch its debut in the media player below:

Newborn gorilla makes debut at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

The zoo hopes the attention will help raise awareness for gorilla conservation and an easy way to make a difference.

Gorillas are gentle giants that have been heavily impacted by humans, including habitat loss in Central Africa due to the mining of essential components used in small electronic devices, such as cell phones.

“It’s not realistic to tell people ‘don’t have a cell phone or don’t have a laptop’,” Kuhar said. “What you can do, you don’t always have to get the latest update right away. You can extend the life of your device and that helps a bit, and you can recycle cell phones and tablets that no longer work, or when you upgrade.”

On Earth Day, the zoo partners with the MCPc Secure Asset Disposition Center to safely recycle your old cell phones and small devices. Their secure recycling center is located just down the street in Old Brooklyn.

“You talk to so many people and they have a junk drawer with stuff, a bunch of electronics, and nobody knows what to do with it and feels comfortable disposing of it appropriately,” said said Keith Slaby, Operations Supervisor for MCPc’s Secure Technology Asset Disposition Center.

The tech company’s secure recycling service is usually reserved for the companies they work with, but for the Earth Day event, they’re offering the service free to the public, using their software to erase all data from devices. before recycling.

“At MCPc, we have an audited process that goes through multiple stages to ensure that all of our customer data is safe and ultimately destroyed in a way that it can never be found,” Slaby said. “We use state-of-the-art software that erases devices that are reused, and anything that can’t be reused will come back here and be shredded into very small pieces before we send it back to the recycling stream.”

Slaby says these conflict minerals can be refined and reused; reduce the demand for natural resources. It’s a process he says they don’t do in their factory but use an approved downstream supplier.

“Our facility here in Old Brooklyn is an e-Steward certified facility and part of our certification process requires us to audit all of our downstream suppliers to ensure they meet all of the environmental requirements that we adhere to here and ultimately to make sure we can track material,” he said.

E-waste makes up 2% of everything in US landfills, but it contributes 70% of all toxic waste, Slaby says. Despite extensive education campaigns, the EPA estimates that less than 20% of unwanted cell phones are recycled each year.

The free e-recycling campaign takes place on Earth Day, Friday, April 22 at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Electronic devices accepted at the event include desktop and laptop computers, LCD monitors, mobile devices such as smartphones, all generations of cell phones, tablets, data storage devices, network devices ( routers, switches, hubs), printers and fax machines and peripherals. , such as keyboards, mice and docking stations.

Items that will be accepted include CRT monitors and televisions, light bulbs, medical or laboratory equipment, household appliances or loose batteries. For a complete list of acceptable and non-acceptable items, visit

MCPc has also pledged to use the money earned from this electronic recycling event to support gorilla conservation.

“We hope people will be excited about Kayembe and really passionate about the gorillas and think twice about how they handle their technology and think about what they can do to help,” Kuhar said.

RELATED: First Gorilla Ever Born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Gets ‘Amazing’ Name

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